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tv   Interview with Representative Jim Banks  CSPAN  February 11, 2017 6:06pm-6:19pm EST

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>> if you missed any of the forum, the program will reair tonight at 8:00 eastern time here on c-span. well, the senate is back in session on monday when it resumes debate on the mnuchin.ion of steve a vote is set for 7:00 p.m. eastern. after that a vote to confirm david shulkin. tuesday at 11:00 the senate is set to vote on linda mcman as small business administrator. you can watch the senate live on c-span 2. and thursday the confirmation earing for andy puzz anywhere, president trump's labor nominee. the hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. you can also watch at or listen live on the free c-span radio app. indiana congressman jim banks spoke to c-span for a house
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freshman profile interview. the indiana congressman is a former state senator and navy in ran who served afghanistan. he represents indiana's third congressional district. >> congressman jim banks, republican of indiana representing the third district 37 years old. when and why did you decide to run for office? >> well, this is a remarkable opportunity to serve during an historic moment in american history. i have served for six years in the indiana state senate. a couple of years before that i served in local government as well. i've always felt called to serve in different capacities. i also serve currently as a reserve officer in the united states navy. but a couple of years ago, two years ago from today i was deployed to afghanistan as a navy reserve officer. i was there for over six months then deployed for over eight months total away from my family. when i returned home, late that
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spring, the incumbent member in my district had announced he was running for higher office and immediately became a candidate because i believe at this moment we need leaders to step up and solve problems, and wanted to be one of those leaders to constructively move our country forward. >> where were you in afghanistan? what was your role? >> i served on the nato head quarters baseball in kabul, afghanistan, along with a number, dozens of other nato -- troops from nato countries on the headquarters base at the time called isaf now resolute support. i was there during an historic moment as the longest war in american history ended. operation enduring freedom transitioned to operation freedoms' sentinel. i was there during the transition from one phase of the war to a current phase that we're in today. >> what did you see when you were there and how will you apply that to what you're doing
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here? >> well, i hope to serve in a capacity here where i can be a new leader on national security issues. was an aw there was effort taking steps backwards instead of forward. since i've been home for over a year-and-a-half we've seen the taliban capture parts of afghanistan that they haven't held since 9/11. war that's been going on for 14, 15 years that we've seen regress to a pointed that has made afghanistan less safe and ultimately i believe the world less safe. so i want to be part of a new generation post 9/11 veterans whose come to washington with experience and perspective having served. my experience is the most recent experience of any member of congress of having served in a combat zone. less than two years ago. to bring that experience here to serve in a capacity where i can put it to use and be a new leader on national security issues, to move our military forward, to make it mighty again so that we can confront
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the significant issues that we face around the world. >> your boots here in your office, picture of yourself serving. why? >> i want to be a testament to what brought me here to begin with. not just a reminder of the experience that i had, but of the troops that i served alongside with in afghanistan. and the veterans at home who i hear from every day who are looking forship in washington, d.c. to reform the v.a. the stories i hear who have trouble navigating a bureaucratic system that doesn't work for them are appalling. and i want to be the best advocate that my district has ever had for our large veteran population who wants the v.a. to work for them and provide them the service that they expect, the service that we guaranteed them for their service. so my combat boots a reminder of my own service but more importantly a reminder of those who i served with and the veterans back home who expect
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me to lead on those issues. >> of course pictures of your family. tell us about your young children and your wife. >> we have a busy family. our three daughters are 7, 5, and 3 years old. it was a great honor to have them here for my swearing in ceremony just a couple days ago to begin this incredible journey as a member of congress. it is their generation who will ultimately be impacted most by what we accomplish during the 115th congress. so i want to do whatever i can to be mindful of exactly that. that the decisions that we make today will impact whether or not the generation that comes after it will live in a america that is as great as the america i grew up in. >> your wife? >> my wife amanda and i have been married over ten years and we are very proud of the opportunity that we have here to come and make a difference, and i'm so proud of her. she served as well. she wasn't just a military spouse, which is incredible
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responsibility when someone deploys and leaves a family behind to be taken care of by their spouse. but my wife actually stepped up and ran and was elected to take my place as the state senator in indiana while i was deployed. so i'm very proud of her the sacrifices that she makes. now we get to serve together in a unique way as a family. our family serve in this capacity. we're excited to do that. >> you have young children. how to you explain to them this idea of service? you were overseas in afghanistan, away from them for six months and now here in washington, d.c. >> hopefully they learn about public service by seeing it, not just from me but from my wife as well. so i hope that the girls will spend a great deal of time here with me and watch what public service looks like. they're young enough at this point that the united states capitol building looks a lot like the courthouse and downtown columbia city and our small town.
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so the difference is probably lost on them. but that's ok. along the way i hope that they will look back fondly on this unique experience that our family is embarking on and understand that public service creates sacrifices for those who step up and serve. but i hope that our story will inspire others, maybe even my daughters themselves, to seek opportunities in public service when they grow up as well. >> what were your priorities in the state senate? >> i was the chairman of the senate veterans affairs committee. i found nothing more rewarding than working on issues impacting our veterans back home. those priorities will remain the same here as well. i also worked on a number of issues related to education, higher education, making higher education more affordable for hoosier students. i see the same priorities in our nation's capitol that i carried in the state house of supporting our veterans, of supporting those who are
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seeking to pursue the american dream just like i've been able to pursue myself. >> you also have with you a bible. >> i do. this bible is the bible that i used to take the oath of office with the ceremonial oath of office with the speaker just a couple days ago. it was presented to me by the capitol commission, the chaplain program in the indiana legislature by pastors from my district at home. so meaningful because of the presentation of where it came from as a reminder of the pass tors and families back home who are praying for me every day. >> religion important to you? >> it is. we are a family that goes to church every week. our faith is important to us. we lean on our faith during hese times to give us wisdom and to give us courage to move forward and make the best decision that is we can to move our country forward. >> the house freedom caucus, their political wing, was a
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supporter of yours. is that important? >> i was supported by a number of conservative groups in my race. i come from a very conservative part of indiana, northeast indiana. i was supported by a number of conservatives in the district and around the country. conservative principles are important to me. i intend to be a conservative leader in the house of representatives advancing conservative prince plings, just like i did at the indiana state house. >> describe your district. > northeast indiana is the bulk of the constituents in northeast indiana are in the city of fort wayne, which is roughly about half of the district. then the 11 counties that make up the rest of northeast indiana rural communities like the one that i come from make up the rest of the district. it's a district that has the most manufacturing jobs of any district in the country. so it's a very blue collar working class district, very conservative in their plaintiffs.
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but also a district full of hard-working men and women who do what they can to provide for their families. that's the background that i come from. my dad worked in a factory, my woman was a cook in a nursing home. we came from humble beginnings. my parents had a dream their american dream was that i could grow up and have something better than them. be the first in my family to go to college, which i did. that's the story of many families that i now serve here in congress that i -- protecting the very ideal, the very basis of what the american dream stands for, making sure that that american dream is preserved for generations ahead. >> who or what was behind the inspiration to serve in the military and serve in the government? >> both of my grandfathers served in the military my brothers soid in the air force for ten years as well. i didn't join the navy until i was 30 years old so a little bit older than most who seek to
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serve. but i felt at that time in my life that if i didn't serve that i would look back with a regret for the rest of my life. both of my grand fathsdzers developed a tradition in our family of serving and i wanted to honor that tradition myself and do what i could do serve my country. i was in college during 9/11 and remember vividly that day and what occurred, what -- how it shook the very foundation of this country and i wanted to be a part of a generation of those that post 9/11 generation of those men and women who stepped up to serve and do that myself so that i could tell my daughters that i did what i could. >> congressman jim banks, thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2017]
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>> the week ahead in congress includes more senate debate on president trump's cabinet nominations. a final vote on treasury secretary nominee is monday evening. we get an update from a capitol hill reporter. >> how is the vote shaping up for monday evening and what's the senate's nomination docket like for the rest of the week?


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